Title: Full Ride
Author: Margaret Peterson Haddix
Publication Date: November 12, 2013
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Age Rating: Readers over 13
My Opinion: 8/10
Margaret Peterson Haddix is such a well-known author that I was surprised to find one of her books that I'd never heard of before. I was also shocked to discover halfway through the book that it was entirely realistic fiction, instead of science fiction like her other books. For this It's Monday! What Are You Reading?, a blogging meme hosted by Teach Mentor Texts, Book Journeys, and Unleashing Readers, I chose to review Full Ride because it was much better than I initially expected it to be.
Becca is entering her senior year of high school, and she wants to follow her father's footsteps and attend Vanderbilt University next year. However, she has a few problems with her plan. First and foremost, Becca's father has been given a jail sentence for scamming hundreds of people and stealing their life's savings. Also, a major company is targeting Becca and her mother in order to get revenge on her father. Lastly, Becca has been living the last few years of her life in complete secrecy in order to hide her true identity as the daughter of a criminal. Surviving high school is hard enough, but Becca has to deal with all of these issues on top of her full schedule of AP classes. When she realizes that she cannot apply for financial aid for college without giving away the identity of her father, Becca decides to submit an essay for the Whitney Court Scholarship. Her experience with the Court family collides with her secret past, and Becca is thrown into a whirlwind of events that will determine her future at college and her personal safety.
One of the most interesting aspects of Full Ride is Becca's relationship with her mother. There is a role reversal of sorts during the novel because Becca's mother is more interested than living in safety than having freedom. When Becca's mom wants to hide away from anybody that may recognize her face from her husband's trial, Becca becomes outraged that she may have to throw away her entire future to stay hidden. She takes control and is able to figure out the situation on her own by showing maturity and strength of character.
|Becca's dream is to follow her father's|
footsteps by attending Vanderbilt
I think that Full Ride really hit home for me personally because I am in the middle of the college search, and I can certainly relate to Becca's doubts about picking the right college. Becca wants to follow her father's footsteps and attend Vanderbilt University, but she also wonders if she would be better off choosing a school more suited to herself personally. Becca's dilemma is very relevant to teenagers because the future is so uncertain and choosing a college or a path for the future can determine one's success in life. Luckily, though, most of us do not have to deal with having a widely known and disliked criminal as a father like Becca.
Any high schooler embarking on the college search would enjoy reading Full Ride because, well, it makes the college search of a normal teenager seem like a piece of cake! Margaret Peterson Haddix creates a number of dynamic characters in the novel that are a joy to read about, and unraveling the mystery of Becca's past is thrilling.